A lot of people have the desire to work from home; however, there are many advantages and disadvantages of working at home which should be considered before committing. More and more people consider working from home, either running a business of their own or taking up self-employment with many of the internet opportunities now available. Although there are many advantages to working from home, there are some disadvantages too. Family and personal commitments often merge with work and business commitments so it is essential to set some boundaries.
Advantages of home working are many; these include:
- setting a personal schedule – this means that no one else dictates the work schedule
- no travel costs to and from work – the expense of travel costs to and from the work place are cut down which can be considerable savings
- reduction in travel time – there is no travel time in getting to and from work with home working, presenting greater potential in completing more tasks
- no office politics – there is no involvement with office politics and the troubles of co-workers
- easier management of family commitments and appointments – family commitments and appointments can be more easily scheduled
- relatively cheap – depending on the nature of the work or business, working from home is usually cheap
- no work uniform – employment on the internet means that a person can literally go to work in their PJ’s.
There are also disadvantages of home working; these include:
- family interruptions – children and spouses may think that it is easier to interrupt a person at home and consequently work may be frequently disrupted; even pets may cause a distraction and young puppies may become bored
- environmental distractions – telephone calls and callers to the home (such as sales representatives) cause distraction to the home worker
- personal and professional conflicts – it may be more difficult to separate personal responsibilities from professional responsibilities as a home worker
- isolation – home workers can become isolated; remember to take time out each day to relax by walking the dog on the beach or spending time in the garden
- employer benefits – self employed people do not have the same access to health care and other employer benefits.
Working from home can present difficulties; however, some solutions to these difficulties include:
- time management – be firm with family, friends and pets. Draw up a schedule which lets people know when you are working and when you are not; spend a set time with pets each day
- create a separate working environment – if possible, create a separate place within the home for work matters and ask people to respect the space accordingly
- invest in an answering machine/voice mail – don’t allow easy and immediate availability; let the telephone go to voice mail and return calls when it is more convenient. This applies to both business and personal calls, and to callers at the door.
People Working From Home
Working from home can be extremely beneficial for many people; however, it is important to set boundaries and schedules in order that both professional and personal commitments don’t collide. As the internet presents more opportunities for people to be home workers, self employment at home is likely to increase in popularity.
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